I guess your in college and will not remember these machines, but when my generate were kids we used to place space invaders on Grandstand table top arcade games, Astro Wars was a very popular game in this series.
The reason I bring this up is that if you put your project into a nice enclosure as I suggested earlier you could look at getting a transparency printed which would mask the LED light into invader shapes at the top, missiles in the middle and the player ship at the bottom. In my old school opinion, this would look amazing.
I am going to ask a printer if they would be able to do this, I wanted to build a pong or breakout machine myself, but if I can get a simple sprite effect using a transparency, I might go for invaders instead.
Will let you know.
My generation loved this machine - http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Grandstand/Astro.htm